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Tuesday, February 26, 2013

Cashew Chicken

If you are anything like me, then you have wondered what Asian restaurants do to get the chicken in their stir fries so tender. Any time I made a stir fry, my chicken would get tough.  Well, I was tired of tough chicken and some time ago I did some research and found this recipe with a magic trick to get your chicken tender - SUPER tender - no - UBER tender.  The secret is baking soda!  Can you believe it?  Well trust me.  It works, and it makes your average stir fry so much better.  The rest of this dish is pretty amazing as well.  I made a few adjustments, including quadrupling the sauce ingredients because we are a sauce-lovin' kind of family.  The more sauce the better.

Cashew Chicken
adapted from Gimme Some Oven

Stir-fry Ingredients:
1 lb. boneless, skinless chicken breasts or tenderloins, cut into 1″ cubes
1/2 cup cashew nuts
1 green bell pepper, cut into about 1″ pieces
1 Tbsp minced ginger
1 yellow onion, cut into 1/2″ dice
2 scallions, sliced
3 cloves garlic, minced

1 tsp. baking soda
1 tsp. corn starch
1/2 tsp. rice wine (or rice wine vinegar)

1/2 cup water
1/4 cup oyster sauce
1 Tbsp plus 1 tsp reduced sodium soy sauce
2 tsp. rice wine (or rice wine vinegar)
1/2 tsp. sesame oil
2 teaspoon sugar

In a bowl, marinate the chicken in the baking soda for 15-20 minutes.  Then rinse the baking soda off the chicken completely.  Pat the chicken dry and add the corn starch and rice wine and marinate for another 15 minutes.

Heat 1 Tbsp of canola oil (or use peanut oil for lots more flavor) is a large pan.  Add the chicken a cook until it turns white.  Remove from pan and set aside.  Heat another tablespoon of canola oil to the pan and then add the ginger, peppers, and onions and cook until the onions are cooked.  Return the chicken to pan along with the garlic scallions, and cashews.  Cook for another five minutes until the chicken is cooked through.  Then add the sauce and combine.

Serve with rice.  Also, if you were wondering why there are mushrooms in the picture above, it's because I made some oyster mushrooms with bok choy as a side dish.  BONUS RECIPE:  Just throw some minced ginger, garlic, and scallions in some hot oil.  Rinse the mushrooms and add to the pan with the water still clinging to them.  Add some trimmed baby bok choy.  Cover the pan.  Uncover and stir occasionally until the bok choy is tender.  Add a Tablespoon of reduced sodium soy sauce and a little of the cashew chicken sauce if you have some to spare, but it isn't necessary.



  1. If you don't wash off the baking soda enough and add the vinegar, will it bubble like a volcano? My kids could enjoy that.....

  2. Your baking soda idea brought joy back to my stir fry!!! Can I do the same with beef or is it only a chicken trick?

    1. I'm so glad to hear that. I felt the same way the first time I did it! I have yet to do it, but I know that you can absolutely use this trick on beef.